Friday, August 26, 2016

Me on Wink Poppy Midnight

Title: Wink Poppy Midnight
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin imprint)

Every story needs a hero. Every story needs a villain. Every story needs a secret. Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous. What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.

Wink Poppy Midnight is whimsical and complicated, a book about people, about how we see them and how they see the world.

Poppy is beautiful, popular, and ruthless. Everything she wants soon becomes hers. Including people. There's an apathy that runs deep in her, that stems from being denied by someone she wanted to matter to and being ignored by her parents. Midnight is a lonely boy, missing his mother and older brother, worried about his quiet father. But he's thrilled to have escaped Poppy in a sudden move to the edge of town. Once foolishly in love with her, he soon saw she didn't care in the same way. That she was only using him, lying to him. Wink is the dreamer, the girl who lives in books, in fables and tales. Who sees into the hearts of people. Because of who they are, because of what they think and what they do, it's hard to find any of them reliable characters, especially Wink, or likable characters, especially Penny. But those flaws make them realistic.

This is one of those hard to describe books. One of those whimsical and lyrical and imaginative books that don't shy away from the darker side of people. From the needy side and the obsessive side. The angry side. It also doesn't hide the magical side, the sides where summers are about picking strawberries and lazing about in haylofts and seeing stories and fantasies in real life. It's a book where I can't say if I liked it or not. But would I recommend it? Definitely. If you're a reader looking for something different, for something contemporary mixed with something magical. Something featuring three very different voices. Something that makes you question who is the hero and who is the villain.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

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